A high protein diet is a great strategy for losing a significant amount of fat in a short period of time. By that I mean, a high protein diet could help a dieter shed 10 to 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Assuming some of that is water weight, the fat loss would still be in the 8-pound range, give or take a couple. That’s a significant amount of fat to burn.
At face value, 8 pounds of fat might not seem to be a lot. Let’s say, a dieter loses 6 pounds. Again, that may not seem like much to some. But consider this, a dieter goes on a 2-week, high protein diet followed by 4 weeks of clean, healthy eating. Dieter loses 6 pounds and then holds steady for 4 weeks, perhaps even drop a pound or two.
At a minimum, the dieter loses 6 pounds in a 6-week cycle. With the cliché rinse and repeat, the dieter is looking at a loss of 48 plus pounds. 52 weeks divided by 6 yields 8 cycles plus. 8 times 6 yields 48 pounds. That can be life changing. That’s assuming no weight loss during the 4-week, cleaning eating phase. And water weight loss will add to that number.
So, what is a high protein weight loss diet? Or more correctly, what is a high protein fat loss program?
Most American probably get an enormous chunk of their calories from carbohydrates. In Business, they speak of the Pareto Principle which states that 80% comes from 20%. In this case, since carbohydrates probably account for 80% of calories, the Pareto Principle could be amended to say 80% comes from 33%.
Although many American get their calories from carbohydrates (read sugar), conventional wisdom suggests that one’s calories should come from ratio of 50% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% fat. Those numbers could fluctuate to a little more from carbohydrates and a little less from proteins.
High protein diet obviously changes the ratios. But first, the general principle of weight reduction is achieving a caloric deficit. The greater the deficit, the greater the weight loss. All the programs out there are strategies for achieving caloric deficit. If this guiding principle is adhered to, the programs are good.
That said, although there are many ways to get to Boston, some modes will get you there faster and better. High protein is one of them. This strategy is very straightforward, the bulk of the calories come from protein.
This stands in contrast to established programs like the Adkins diet that seek to minimize carbohydrates as the main objective. The shortfall in calories is balanced by increasing proteins and fat. But the driving goal is to reduce carbohydrates.
The subtle difference is that a high protein diet focus increasing (dramatically) the consumption of protein, while minimizing carbohydrates and fat. 1 gram of protein has 4 calories, as does carbohydrates but fat has 9 calories. Minimizing fat and carbohydrates dramatically also means dramatically increasing protein intake.
“Back in the day,” Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The conventional wisdom suggests 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight. That’s not a lot.
At a gram of protein per bodyweight, a 200 lb man would need 200 grams. 200 grams would yield 800 calories, add in some residual fat and carbohydrates, and the caloric intake probably wouldn’t exceed 1000. Caloric deficit has been met. High protein couple with minimizing fats and carbohydrates will dramatically reduce caloric intake.
But let’s be clear, this is no walk in the park. A high protein diet can be stressful for the body. Although several indigenous people around the world leave on a high protein diet as matter “survival” or “culture,” it is not something a person should begin without having done some sound research and spoken to their doctor. If there are underlying health issues, most definitely speak to a doctor first. Even if there are no health issues, other than weight; speaking to a doctor is always a good idea.
And this should not be a prolong diet. Daily consumption of plain chicken breast and celery sticks could easily have you bouncing off walls in short order. This strategy would involve cycling this rigorous approach for 2 weeks with 2 to 4 weeks of a balance, clean diet that provides a minimal caloric deficit. This cycle would repeat until the desired weight objective is achieved.
Lastly, critical to the success of a program such as this would be having support group of like-minded individuals going through the process. On the tenth day of canned tuna fish, chicken breast and cucumbers, support is critical. Also, a group that can cheer one on, a group to share successes, frustrations, hope, and challenges is so important.
High protein fat loss diet is clearly a powerful tool in the struggle to combat obesity.